Egypt’s minster of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry during a teleconference meeting with his Greek, Cypriot, French and Emirati counterparts, 11 May 2020 - Press photo
CAIRO – 11 May 2020: Egypt’s minster of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry held a teleconference meeting with his Greek, Cypriot, French and Emirati counterparts as they discussed the latest worrying developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as a number of regional crises that threaten peace and stability in this region.
According to a Monday statement, the Ministers stressed the strategic importance of enhancing and intensifying their political consultations, and commended the outcome of the Cairo meeting on January 8th, 2020, for enhancing security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, and expressed their deepest concern over the current escalation and continuous provocative actions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Ministers also denounced the ongoing Turkish illegal activities in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone and its territorial waters, as they represent a clear violation of international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. It is the sixth attempt by Turkey in less than a year to illegally conduct drilling operations in Cyprus’ maritime zones.
During their meeting, the Ministers also condemned the escalation of Turkey’s violations of the Greek national airspace, including over flights of inhabited areas and territorial waters in violation of International Law. Furthermore, the Ministers condemned the instrumentalization of civilians by Turkey in an attempt to illegally cross Greek land borders as well as its continued support for illegal crossings of Greek sea boundaries.
They urged Turkey to fully respect the sovereignty and the sovereign rights of all States in their maritime zones in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Ministers reiterated that the Memorandum of Understanding on the Delimitation of the Maritime Jurisdiction Areas in the Mediterranean, and the Memorandum of Understanding on Security and Military Cooperation signed in November 2019 between Turkey and Fayez El Saraj, are respectively in contravention of international law and the UN arms embargo in Libya, and that both undermine regional stability. The Ministers recalled that the Memorandum of Understanding on the delimitation of maritime jurisdictions in the Mediterranean Sea infringes upon the sovereign rights of third States, does not comply with the Law of the Sea and cannot produce any legal consequences for third States.
The Ministers deeply regretted the escalation of hostilities in Libya and recalled the commitment to refrain from any military foreign intervention in Libya as agreed in the conclusions of the Berlin conference. In this regard, the Ministers strongly condemned Turkey’s military interference in Libya, and urged Turkey to fully respect the UN arms embargo, and to stop the influx of foreign fighters from Syria to Libya. These developments constitute a threat to the stability of Libya’s neighbours in Africa as well as in Europe.
The Ministers called on the Libyan parties to observe a truce during the holy month of Ramadan and stressed their commitment to work towards a comprehensive political solution to the Libyan crisis under the auspices of the United Nations, and expressed their keenness for the resumption of the meetings of the three tracks of the Berlin process (Political, military, economic and financial). They also agreed to continue their consultations on a regular basis.